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The length of its keel was thirty-six expected, hardly, perhaps, considerfeet, the extreme breadth of the ing the present state of Polynesia, vessel nine and a quarter; her name
to be wished. He must be a conquewas to be the Britannia. “ She was ror also, and the further he intended,” says he, “as a protece extend his conquests the more betion to the royal person of Tamaha- neficial it will be, if he can only ma, and I believe few circumstances secure his dominion upon such a in his life ever afforded him more basis as that it shall not be oversolid satisfaction.” His satisfaction thrown by his death. Two Englishwas far more solid than captain Van men who were cast, by misfortune, couver perceived. Ten years after- upon his shores, are his 'chief wards, when Mr. Turnbull was at counsellors. They are, by the account Owhyhee, he had upwards of twen- of all who have visited Owhyhee, ty vessels of different sizes, from men of good character. Here then twenty-five to fifty tons, some of is a place where missionaries might them copper bottomed. Then he most usefully be employed, not in was in want of naval stores; but that explaining creeds, preaching the want no longer exists. One of his mysterious points of faith, and teachvessels is now seventy tons. He has ing catechisms, but in opening a fortification round his house, schools under the immediate patronmounted with ten guns, and a guard age of a king enlightened enough of about two hundred native soldiers, to perceive the advantages which well disciplined in the use of fire- his subjects would derive from such arms, who do regular duty, night instruction. He, perhaps, is too thoand day. He has above two thousand rough a statesman to stand of arms, and more than twelve susceptible of religion; for they thousand dollars, with other valuable whose hearts are set so intently uparticles in proportion, which he has on worldly things have little room collected in regular trade, and de- for hopes of Heaven and thoughts posited in store houses. His people, of a hereafter. But it may be possi. seconding the projects of their king ble to make him perceive that no with equal zeal, frequently make religion is so useful for states as voyages to the N. W. coast of Ame- the Christian, which so well incul. rica, in which they learn the art of cates the duties of order and obenavigation, and at the same time ac dience. If, however, Tamahama bequire property, of which they fully lieves too sincerely in his country's understand the value. Sandwich mythology, or fears the influence islanders are now to be found in of the priests too much, for him to most of the South Sea traders. encourage the progress of There, also, they learn English, faith, it cannot be doubted that he which will probably, ere long, be só would willingly see his subjects blended with their language, as to instructed in the rudiments of civili. form a new one. They confidently ex zation: they may be taught to write pect to open a direct trade with China, and read, and that done, the bible in vessels of their own construction, may be introduced among them. It and navigated by their own people.
will do its own work in time. Much These islands produce pearls, pearl might be said upon this part of so oyster shell, and sandal wood, all ar- important and interesting a subject, ticles of great value in the China but we shall have other opportunities market.
in treating of the other protestant Tamahama's views are not confin missions, and this has led us beyond ed to commerce; this is not to be our usual limits.
LIFE OF FLORIAN.
ness to know, and who was highly vice by cheerfulness." And a few deserving of the regret which he. lines lower: “On the borders of the experienced for her. The idea, that Qardon, at the foot of the lofty he never enjoyed the presence, the mountains of Cevennes, between the caresses, and the fostering cares of town of Anduza, and the village of her who gave him birth, was to Massanne, lies a valley, where na. Florian, ever a source of painful reture seems to have collected all her collection; it was almost foremost in treasures.”
his thoughts; and, in the course of The castle in whịch Florian was time, the inore he obtained success, born, was built by his grandfather, a the more did he regret his mother counsellor of the Chamber of Ac. could not share his feelings. He well counts at Montpellier, who ruined knew that no person would have himself by building a superb man. been more sensible. His father, a şion on a very small estate, and worthy honest man, was more inwho, when he died, left two sons, tent on the cultivation of his land and many debts. From the second than on his understanding. His moson, Florian derived his birth. It ther, on the contrary, naturally inappears that his grandfather had telligent, had always enjoyed the conceived a great affection for his pleasure derived from letters. It was grandson; and it afforded him real from her that Florian believed he pleasure to see him grow up under inherited his literary talents. From his own eye. Sensible to this ten. the description given him, by those. derness, and penetrated both with who had known, he had a portrait of
her painted, for which he always sure from the work, he was almost showed the most profound venera- disgusted with it. He looked upon tion.
Michael Cervantes as an absurd, After the death of his grande impertinent blockhead, for having father, young Florian was sent to a dared to attack, with the arms of ri. school at St. Hypolite. He learned dicule, heroes who were the objects but little there; but his natural ge- of his admiration. nius and his witty sallies were soon As his family was not rich, in the remarked; and the favourable re year 1768, he entered into the sera ports which his relations received of vice of the Duke de Penthievre, as his happy dispositions, determined his page. His friends hoped, by this them to give him an education ca. means, he would be enabled to finish pable of assisting his talents. his education, and, in the end, might
His father's elder brother had obtain some honourable employment; married the niece of Voltaire. 'That but the education of pages was not great man was spoken to in behalf the most excellent, and, without the of young Florain, and was informed resources which he had within him. of the rising genius he displayed. self, would have availed him little. Voltaire was anxious to see him. The duke, who attended to his Florain was sent to him, and his own household, and who possessed first introduction into the world was a sound judgment, soon distinguishat Ferney.
ed him from among his companions. Voltaire was singularly amused His frankness, his pleasantries, and with his gayety, his gentleness of jokes, always within the strictest manners, his lively repartees, and bounds of decency, and his lively conceived a great friendship for him. witticisms, frequently amused that This is evident from his letters to virtuous personage, who, spite of his Floriannet, the friendly familiar name wealth, of his goodness, and bene. he gave him; indeed it was said, and volence, was, of all men in France, even mentioned in some of the pe- perhaps, one who was less happy. riodical works of the day, that he It was during the period that was his near relation; but he was no young Florian was page (he was other way allied to him than as the then about fifteen) that he composed nephew of the man who had mar the first lines which came from his ried his niece.
pen. The occasion which gave rise From Ferney, Florian went to Pa- to them, and the subject he chose ris, where they procured him seve out of preference, equally contriral masters to cultivate and improve buted to give an idea of his charachis rising talents. He passed some ter, which, as I have already said, years there; and during that period was a melange of mirth and melanmade several journeys to Hornoy, a choly.-The conversation one day at country seat of his aunt's, in Picardy. the duke's, was rather grave, and Destined from that time for the turned upon religious discourses profession of arms, he thought it his and sermons. Florian suddenly enduty to adopt the spirit of it: all his gaged in it, and maintained, that a sports savoured of combats. The pe. sermon was by no means difficult to rusal of some old romances, on the compose; and added, that he thought subject of knight errantry, heated he was capable of composing one if his imagination; and the prowess of it was necessary. The prince took the knights and deeds of chivalry him at his word, and betted a wager became so much to his taste, that of fifty louis that he would not suchaving then, for the first time, road ceed. The curate of St. Eustache, Don Quixotte, which he afterwards who was present, was to be the translated, far from deriving plea- judge. Florian immediately set to.
work and, in the course of a few fights; and he, consequently forgot days, produced the fruits of his la- it almost as soon as he had learned bour.
it. The astonishment of the prince The academy at Bapaume, where and the curate was extreme, to hear Florian then was, was composed of a youth recite à sermon upon death, young men, who, almost all, possesswhich was worthy of being submit- ed considerable talents, but, with ted to the publick eye. The first whom, reason was a very rare guest. agreed that he had lost his wager, We should suppose that they were adding, that he experienced much occupied with their different studies, real pleasure in having lost it: and since many clever persons have come immediately paid down the amount. from it; but we may pretty well The other, the curate, got posses- judge what must be the life of a sion of the sermon, took it away, great number of
young men, hurried and preached it at his parish church. away by the impetuosity of youth,
When Florian had fulfilled the and yielding to all the extravagancies duties of a page, which only conti- of their fancies. Nothing could keep nued till a certain age, he was a them in restraint; one quarrel gave long time doubtful what line of life rise to another, and these daily dishe should adopt, and his relations putes always ended in duels. Florian partook of his uncertainty. Some was wounded several times. At advised him to solicit a place of length, the want of discipline in the gentleman of honour in the prince's pupils became so great, that they household, as that place offered a were obliged to suppress the estacertain and quiet life; others (and blishment. Who could have ever his father was of the number) wish supposed that from such a school ed that he should pursue the career should come the author of Estelle of arms. As he had not entirely lost and Galatea? all his ideas of chivalry, he inclined Much about this time Florian obstrongly to that side. The “pomp tained a troop of cavalry in the reand pageantry of war" appeared to giment of Penthievre, then in garrihim in a more seducing light than son at Maubeuge. Soon after his all the advantages of the sedentary arrival in that city, he became so life they wished him to adopt; and violently enamoured with a canonhe remarked pleasantly enough, on ess, as amiable as she was virtuous, the subject of the place of gentle. that he absolutely wished to marry man to the prince, which had been her. His friends and relations wish. solicited for and offered to him, ed to dissuade him from a match “I have been too long a footman, to which was no way suitable to his become a valet de chambre." years or his fortune, and they at last
He, therefore, chose the service, succeeded. and entered into what was then call His family, from whom he had but ed the corps of royal artillery. He little to expect, resolved to attach went to Bapaume, where the milita- him to a man of power and interest, ty college was. He applied himself by procuring for him, notwithstandto the study of mathematicks, and ing his opposition, the place which succeeded, as he possessed an apt- he had before refused. But Florian ness at every branch of learning. wished to serve, and the prince did But the science of calculation was not wish any gentleman to be emby no means analogous with the turn ployed about his person who was of his mind; he soon discovered it attached to the service. Anxious, had no attractions for him. Born with however, to fix the wavering resoa lively, brilliant imagination, Florian lution of a man whose society he conceived that the science of calcu- loved, he even began to smooth the lation served but to restrain its difficulties which might interfere
with the inclinations of Florian. It works; they are in the hands of al. was agreed, then, that he should re.
most every person. The custom he tire upon
that his rank had contracted of studying and wri. should still continue; and that he ting, had become in him a real want: should be wholly at liberty to remain he never passed a day without this in his new situation. He settled, kind of labour, and he frequently toiltherefore at Paris. And this seden- ed from morning till night. tary life, which he had so great a “ Try to write fables,” said the dread of, contributed not a little to duke de Penthievre one day to him. his launching into the career of let- Florian followed his advice. He ters.
wrote fables. Many years passed It was then, in fact, that in order away before he published any of to remove the ennui which some. them, and only gave them to the times seized him, and of which he world three or four years before his said himself he was too susceptible, death. This collection, the most perhe began to write. The fondness fect which has appeared since La which he always had for the Spanish Fontaine, is, of all Florian's works, language, revived. He applied him that which posterity will admire the self to the study of it, and formed most. At the head of this work he the plan of translating into French, had his portrait engraved. every Spanish work which might ap Few authors were admitted at so pear to please the general taste of early an age, into the French Acathe people. After a long hesitation, demy. He was only thirty three the divided in his opinions on several day he was appointed a member. authors, he made choice of Cer. But he did not look upon this place vantes; and, finding his Galatea pos as a place of idleness, or as a privisessed of much interest, spite of its lege for doing nothing. His new imperfections, he resolved to set title, far from diminishing, increased about it. The happy alterations which his love of toil; and, if a premature he made in that poem; the entire death had not stopped him in his scenes he has added to it: the rustick career, he had planned what was fete; the story of the doves; the fare. sufficient to have kept him em, well to Elicio's dog; the last canto ployed for many years. entirely, which he thought necessary Amongst his projects, was that of to finish the poem which Cervantes writing the lives of eminent and ilnever finished; the elegant and de. lustrious characters of modern histolicate stanzas, which he has scatter. ry, and comparing them with each ed through the work; all contribu. other, after the manner of Plutarch. ted to the success of Galatea, which He waited, he said, to undertake determined Florian to give himself these different works till the fire of up entirely to this species of com- his imagination should be cooled. position, the pastoral romance, so “ That,” said he, “shall be the emlong fallen into absolute discredit. ployment of my latter years.”
He published Estelle, and obtain The affection which he had coned fresh success, the glory of which, ceived for Spain, and the Spanish was exclusively his own. Estelle, in people, was not exclusive; there was fact, was solely his 'own invention, another people who shared it; one and pleased as much as Galatea. would not easily guess who-it was There are those who even prefer it the Jews. He had a perfect knowledge to the latter. But the greatest num- of their history, and frequently ap ber regard Estelle and Galatea, as plied it most happily. He had always two sisters equally amiable, and be- a strong desire to compose a Jewish tween whom it is difficult to make a work; and he wrote one in four choice.
books, which form a neat, small voIt is needless to speak of his other lume, about the size of his Galatea: